Will Kia pass the 'pub test' with Proceed?
21 January 2008
Author: Guy Bird
Kia kicks off 2008 with arguably its most desirable production car ever. UK boss Paul Philpott has called the new sharply styled Proceed three-door, "the first Kia you could boast about down the pub on a Friday night".
After 1 February - when it goes on sale in the UK - he'll quickly find out if he's right. Kia will certainly be pushing the car hard. Although it is expected to make up just 2000 (or 5%) of UK Kia sales in 2008, Philpott said the Proceed would account for 40% of the brand's marketing spend.
The new car company could do with the new recognition (and sales). Total registrations were down 18% in 2007 to 29,369, including a whopping fleet drop of 37% to 13,066, largely attributable, Philpott said, due to a deliberate reduction in short term, unprofitable daily rental and broker business.
However, in 2008, on the back of the now three-strong Ceed range plus new Sportage and Picanto models, Philpott is aiming to reach 36,250, growing retail by 29% and fleet business by 16% to more than 15,000.
Externally the Proceed only shares the front wings and bonnet from its five-door brother Ceed. Prices from £11,795-£15,495, match the five-door though, the three-door gaining extra spec at each equivalent trim level.